How to Create A Client Avatar


Before we dive in let's just address the elephant in the room as I'm sure some of you are reading this like, "I think I know what you're talking about, but not I'm 100% sure... what actually is a "Client Avatar"?

Your "Client Avatar" is essentially a made-up person you create in order to deeply define who it is your business serves and caters to. It's when you think of your ideal client as a specific living, breathing person. You give them a name, a job, a family, a lifestyle, and a personality. It's the process of taking a list of generic traits like female, aged 20-35, lives in Scarborough, etc and transforming them into something tangible you can actually work with.


But Nic, why do I need a client avatar? What is the point of playing make pretend?

Well, I'm sure by now you've heard the saying, "If you talk to everyone, you talk to no one," or some version of that. And it's true. If your business communications are super generic in an attempt to attract ALL the people, none of what you're saying will really resonate with anyone because the reader won't feel as though you truly "get" them.


Cue, the avatar. When you have an avatar it makes developing content, products and services sooo much easier because you literally have your avatar front and centre in your mind when you're in creation mode. Suddenly, you're no longer talking to the big wide web, you're talking to "Sally" or "Sam" or whatever name it is you've chosen. You know what Sally loves and what she hates. You know how to make her world that little be easier with the magic you bring in your business. Best of all, you know what wins her over and how to tell her all about it in a way that will make her say, "OMG that's me. I need that. Sign me up, buttercup!"


Now we've got that sorted, let's talk about how to create your own client avatar. There are three key prompts I use to help get the juices flowing:


Passions & Pet Peeves

Places & Platforms

Purchasing Power


For each prompt, I answer a simple set of questions.


PASSIONS AND PET PEEVES

This one is all about understanding your client as a real-life person with feelings, emotions, struggles and successes. It helps you go beyond the demographics and into the psychographics.

  • What gets them excited? What makes them jump out of bed in the morning, drive that extra distance for, or splurge that bit more on?

  • What grinds their gears or really frustrates them? What types of things are they likely to complain about to family and friends when they feel they've been jipped?

For each of the prompts answer them twice. First answer them in a general sense. For example, "Sally loves coffee and will drive 20 minutes to her favourite cafe."


Then answer them in relation to how this person interacts with business like yours the products and services you offer. Think about what they expect, like and don't like when purchasing whatever it is that you sell. For example, "Sally hates being made to wait and appreciates services like text to order or click and collect."


PLACES AND PLATFORMS

This one is all about understanding where your avatar would hang out both in the real world and the digital world. Knowing this helps you know where you need to be marketing yourself, rather than throwing ads at the wall and hoping something sticks.

  • Where do they hang out in the real world? Where would this person go in their spare time on the weekend? Where do they work? What types of places to they like to visit most?

  • Where do they hang out in the digital world? How do they spend their screen time? Are they big on YouTube or all for Pinterest? Do they get lost in the world of TikToks, or are they more likely to listen to a podcast?

  • When looking for services like yours, do they hit up the 'gram or do they go to Google?

PURCHASING POWER

Purchasing power is often a component that gets overlooked, but it's really the essence of it all. Being able to nail this one will help you create processes and offerings people can't stop raving about.

  • What are their purchasing motivators? What wins them over? Is it your work and your portfolio, testimonials, or is it language and imagery that creates a connection?

  • Is your avatar even the purchasing decision maker? Or does someone else call the shots, in which case you've got to appeal to them too?

  • What do they value when it comes to purchasing services like yours? Do they favour quality or quantity? Is clear communication & easy processes top priority? Do they need to feel a deep emotional connection?

So what next?

Once you've gone through all of the prompts and answered each one, put them together into a bio. Add in general demographics elements like their age, location, marital status, etc to fully round out the story. If you want to go that level deeper, I also recommend adding a photo to really help solidify your image of this person in your mind.


Keen to check out an example? Here's one I created recently for a client with a hairdressing salon in New Zealand.

Client Avatar Example
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And if this is all just not how you want to be spending your time, but you know it's something you need - let's connect. I'll take it off your hands and get it done for you.